Title: Chinatown Nights Summary: Joan Fry, a society woman, falls in love with Chuck Riley, the white-leader of a powerful gang in Chinatown, and he quickly drags her down into the depths with him. But seeing her so much ... Directed by: William A. Wellman Actors: Production Company: Paramount Pictures Release Date: 30 March 1929 (USA) Aspect Ratio: 1.20 : 1
Joan Fry, a society woman, falls in love with Chuck Riley, the white-leader of a powerful gang in Chinatown, and he quickly drags her down into the depths with him. But seeing her so much in love with him causes him to realize he is in love with her, and he determines to lift her up again. "Boston" Charley, the rival gang-leader, has other plans.
August 21, 2019 Subject:
Chinatown Nights for Poor Little Rich Girls
An interesting film about the start and growth of a love affair between uptown rich girl Florence Vidor (Alice fry) and unusual white boss of a Chinese Tong Wallace Beery (Chuck Riley). Its kind of a "Beauty and the Beast" fantasy crossed with rich girl who meets the first "real man" in her life in a gang leader. It takes a certain amount of "suspension of disbelief" to get into this film and find it believable. While Florence was a great beauty of the silent screen, Wallace Beery was not your handsome leading man type. Here he is an educated college man in his 40s who has morphed into the leader of a Chinese Tong which becomes engaged in war against the rival Tong lead by Warner Oland (Boston Charlie) who comes off as a polite courteous leader as well as a bloodthirsty murderer. Oh well, it makes a good fantasy and the sets are good - especially the set for the Chinese Theater. And the performance there is good fun. Everything gets nicely sorted out in the end, but only after Vidor renounces her "rich girl" life to be with Beery. Jack Oakie plays a stuttering and thoroughly reprehensible reporter who stirs things up causing a fight that leaves many dead, just to get an "exclusive" story. Unfortunately, he does not get his comeuppance here - except that he disappears from the film.
The film started off as a silent film and was turned into a "talkie" in a matter of days - consequently you'll find interspersed meaningful scenes comprised of facial expressions, moody lighting and dramatic music. Even a message card frame. So, the film is also a fascinating glimpse into the change over from silent to talking from a point of view that is literally midstream. Well worth the 83 minute viewing time.